FCC Complaint Filed 4/17/02 # 2920496

Signed up with Cingular wireless in May 2001. Phone worked fine until December 24, 2001 when it stopped working all together from my home. I called Cingular in Dec '01 and they told me they reset my phone and it should work fine. It did not.

I called again in Jan '02 and told them my phone was still not working from home. It was working from other areas, but not from home. They said there was no record of me calling in previously. They suggested I try several minor settings changes on the phone and none of them worked.
(the problem here is that it's my only phone. It acts as my home phone. Additionally, it means that I pay for peak minutes during the day but can never use free night or weekend minutes because it won't work at home)

I called again in Jan '02 and told them I would not continue to pay $90/month if I could not have my phone work from home. It acted as my only phone (my home phone) and if it would not work from my house it was not acceptable. She was very apologetic and told me that I should take it to the store and see if the programming was correct. (something I had already done) She then offered to give me a credit as well as extra minutes for the problem.

In Feb 02, just DAYS after the call, they turned off my service. I tried to call them back but was given a recording saying to call from a landline. I do not have a landline and so could not call. My Mother spoke with them for me and relayed the situation again. They said they did not care and just wanted a payment. She pay two payments of $50 each but they did not restore service.

Today, 4/17/02 I went into the store with my phone and explained the situation.
(this was my first chance to get in there since January because I commute over an hour each way to work and work most weeks 6 days a week. there is simply not time to get in there during the day) They had me call the Financial Department from their office phone. I explained my story and they said I needed to talk to Customer Service. They transferred me to customer service. I again explained my problem. They said there was nothing they would do to help me, that I just needed to pay the bill. (The customer service agent even called me a liar saying that if I was able to use my phone in other places, how did she know it really didn't work from home?) I told them that I was willing to pay the bill if they would ensure the phone worked again when I got home. She said she could do nothing and simply transferred me back to the Financial dept. I explained the story AGAIN. She said she'd be happy to accept my payment but they would not turn the phone back on. They said the number had been recycled into the system already. I said, "fine, give me a different number then." She said they could not and that if I wished to have service, I would need to re-apply as a new customer and sign a WHOLE NEW CONTRACT. I told her that was unacceptable. That I would NOT sign a NEW contract. I wanted to simply pay my bill, get a credit for the hassle, and turn the service back on and working properly. She said no. She then threatened to make a report to the collection agencies of my non-payment and cancellation. I told her I didn't WANT to cancel, I wanted to reactivate the service. She said they could not do that.

I do not feel that it is right to turn off someone's service when it does not work and you report it MULTIPLE times and nothing is done to correct it. And when you DO try to pay, they tell you that you need to sign a BRAND NEW, TWO YEAR CONTRACT to get your service back on. That is simply unfair and improper business practice.

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